Obituary for Brian "BNI" Sherwin
Brian Sherwin, BNI, leaves his imprint on the sands of time: Teacher, Leader, Conservationist, Philanthropist, Motorsports Man at age 84, he passed away after a long illness, on September 16, 2017 surrounded by his loving family at his home which he built on part of the once 1,000 acre picturesque working South Farm with lambs, sheep, Ayrshire cows in Waite Hill, Ohio, in the village where he lived most of his life and will be interred. He persevered for many years to make a third of those acres durably protected open spaces.
Born August 2, 1933, to Francis McIntosh Sherwin and Margaret Halle Sherwin; his grandparents were the banker John and Frances McIntosh Sherwin; the department store founder, Samuel H. and Blanche Murphy Halle deceased. He is survived by his wife, Christine Sherwin (nee Meyer); his three children with Marguerite(Miggie) Perkins Sherwin (deceased 2010) are Marguerite(Muffi) Sherwin and Pam (Tony) Zalba, Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Francis McIntosh (Tim and Missy) Sherwin, II, Shaker Heights, Ohio. He is survived by eight grandchildren, Jessica and Nicholas Rosner, Charlie Frederick and Max, Oliver and Abby Sherwin, and Jacob and Halle Zalba and his brother, the pilot, Peter (Kris) Sherwin, St. Louis, MO. His many cousins include the Sherwin, Crile, Little and Halle families, Jack, Martha and Susan (Tudie) Sherwin, Ann Esselstyn, Sam Little, Susan Crile, Kate Briggs, Mrs. Chisholm (Cindy) Halle. His younger brother, Dennis Sherwin, President of the Bermuda National Trust from 1987 through 1990, died in 2008.
Brian was President of South Waite Foundation established in 1953 by his parents recorded by the Secretary of State in Volume 666, page 24. The Foundation supports Cuyahoga and Lake County organizations where family often volunteer; President of the Fine Arts Association 1971-‐1980; past president Ohio Chapter of Nature Conservancy honored by the Oak Leaf Award and Life Membership and with life-‐long-‐friend, U. S. Ambassador to Paraguay, Timothy Towell, kindled the conservation of Paraguay, Mbaracayú, "unique because physically there is no larger piece of land that is virtually undisturbed," "'Alto Parana,' a high-‐forest type unusually rich in endemic species, found there and nowhere else."; Past President Recovery Resources receiving Distinguished Service Award (Alcoholism Services of Cleveland);President and Founder of Waite Hill Land Conservancy. He and Tony Ocepek "facilitated the merger and the donation of the land to Western Reserve Land Conservancy. His contributions to natural areas preservation are astounding!" and Brian then served as their Trustee. Supporter of accelerating biomedical discovery through world-‐class research, he was the former Treasurer of Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. He served as trustee for the Cleveland Health Museum and Chagrin River Watershed Partnership; Corporate Board of Holden Arboretum. Teacher at Hawken Middle School from 1961-‐ 1969, students remember his Questar Telescope and in 1964 "The Sherwin Clan" Hawken students wrote The Sherwin Ballad.
He attended Slade School, Olney, MD, where Garret Towell tagged him BNI; Westminster School, Simsbury, CT bonded with Jessop Smith; Rollins and Harvard befriending Michael Dodge. He graduated from Eaglebrook School, 1950, Deerfield, MA; University School, 1953 and Kent State in 1957.
To Major James. R. Garfield at Fort Knox, he was Private Sherwin, jeep driver, expert rifle rated and swim team member. To family, friends and employees he was loyal, fair and honest.
As a motorsports man he teamed with John Fangboner car #69 on tracks in Ohio; plotted with Charles Kelsey; in a Buick he raced Roger Penske on Shaker Boulevard and in the Pony Express he competed at 150 mph stage but did 153 in his Lingenfelter ZR1 which he is donating to National Corvette Museum. That ZR1 he often took to the annual Downtown Willoughby Cruise-‐in fundraiser for scholarships.
He learned the ham radio and Heath kits from his father. His fascination with communicating expanded to interest in radios, phones, weather stations, instruments and computers; installing many devices in his cars, boats and home. Beginning as a youngster he delved into photography with his Leica. He was a good hire for Rand Development's James H. Rand III, "The Wizard of Bratenahl".
He loved bone, spear fishing and underwater photography with his parents and Captain Gene Ulrich in the Bahamas; deep sea fishing off Fort Lauderdale in his Whaler, Reefund. He shared his mother's interest in birding learning from her to catch and band birds, to identify them by their mannerisms and sounds. He started pilot lessons at Rollins; mid-‐1980's he flew the Weedhopper Ultralight airplane he won at a Hawken School fundraiser with a group of friends.
BNI was comfortable wearing a pocket T-‐shirt, yet belonged to social clubs including Lauderdale Yacht, Tavern, Union and Kirtland Country Club. He was not a member of any particular church.
Church service will be held Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 3:30 PM at Divine Word Catholic Church, 8100 Eagle Rd. Kirtland, Ohio 44094 Phone: (440) 256-‐1412. Interment 4:30 PM and Reception at 5:30.